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The App We Can’t Wait For

Written on August 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm , by

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

Fitting in a workout, wherever you go? Yes, please. Photo by Jennifer Koplin.

When you’re traveling or in-between gym memberships, what do you do? Sign up for the free three-day membership? Pay $30 for a single barre class? If you’re like me, probably not. Which is why I just about jumped out of my chair in glee when I read this article about an Australian app that’s going to go global, sooner rather than later.

The FitUsIn app, founded by Vanessa Picker, will allow users to book gym visits at the last minute—without having to meet with a gym representative, sign a contract, etc. I’ve always been a big fan of Lifebooker, the site/app that lets me make discounted beauty appointments, usually at the last minute. So, I have high hopes for FitUsIn.

And Vanessa isn’t just a fitness fanatic who wants to work out wherever she goes—she co-founded Play Forward, which help bring organized sports to children in need. She’s even a fellow for The Resolution Project, a nonprofit that empowers young entrepreneurs.

(Related: Want to run the 4-Mile NYRR race in NYC on Sept. 7? You can be a part of the Resolution Runs team, which means your involvement will go directly to supporting the fellows, including Vanessa. Get details here on Facebook, at @ResolutionProj on Twitter, or send a note to info [at] resolutionproject [dot] org.)

You heard it here first, FITNESS friends. Vanessa, we’re waiting!

Fit Links: 7 Diet Tips To Drop Pounds and a Weekend Workout

Written on June 14, 2013 at 5:21 pm , by

One of the seven healthy eating ideas: serve up a satisfying salad once a day. (Photo by Peter Ardito)

This week’s fit links from around the web:


Hot Topic Tuesday: Do You Size Up Others at the Gym?

Written on November 20, 2012 at 9:18 am , by

Do you team up with—or size up—fellow gym-goers? (Photo by Sarah Kehoe)

What’s your first thought when you step foot in a gym? Perhaps you make a mental note to refill your water bottle. Or maybe you’re selecting what playlist will be your soundtrack today.

According to one recent study, many young women think about the other women in the room—in particular, their size. College undergrads were more likely to use a piece of equipment near a fit woman when she was wearing baggy clothing and padding to appear larger compared to when that same woman was wearing fitted apparel without padding. Researchers believe that body image-conscious young women might feel more comfortable and fitter when compared to their less athletic-looking neighbor.

We like to focus on our own goals, abilities and accomplishments, and think of others at the gym as potential workout buddies! No matter what shape or size you—or they—are, the greatest feeling is when you improve upon your personal best. But we want to hear from you…

Now tell us: Are you in your own world the minute you step foot in the gym, or do you size up those who are exercising nearby? Can you “judge a book by its cover” in terms of fitness anyway?

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FITNESS Celeb Fan: Bewitched and Tropic Thunder Actress Valerie Azlynn

Written on June 28, 2012 at 8:40 am , by

(Photo by Marc Cartwright)

Actress Valerie Azlynn, who appears in the new TBS comedy Sullivan & Son premiering July 18, doesn’t rely on trainers to stay fit. With her “weird hours” on set (you may have also seen in the movies Bewitched and Tropic Thunder) it can be tough to schedule a training session, so she is constantly on the hunt for gym inspiration to stay motivated. In fact, Azlynn considers FITNESS to be the perfect tool to keep her workouts fun and fresh.

“I tear out pages from magazines so I can do the workouts in the gym. Right now, I have a hot pink binder full of FITNESS magazine stuff,” Azlynn told us when she visited our office recently. “I flip it open for new ideas to constantly change up my workout. It makes such a difference to mix it up!”

Azlynn admits that she occasionally gets odd looks from strangers, but to her, it’s worth it. “If they’re talking about me, maybe they’re just jealous of my fun moves!”

Azlynn adds new workouts from every issue—including this one from June. (Photo courtesy of Valerie Azlynn)

Need some new ideas to mix up your routine? Print out, bookmark or Pin a few of our current favorites!

Health is particularly important to Azlynn, as she had open heart surgery as a kid to repair a defect that she was born with. She uses this to fuel her healthy choices (which include a daily green smoothie with kale, lettuce, banana, raspberry, pear and peanut butter), yet she still keeps things light around the topic.

“I bought a butcher knife pendant for my necklace,” the funny actress says. “If you can’t laugh about it, what’s the point?”

Now tell us: How do you keep your workout routine from getting stale?

Fit Links: Tricks to Cure Cravings and Ace Race Day Photos

Written on February 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm , by

Control your cravings—no lock and key required. (Photo by James Worrell)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Links: Picking a Gym and Beating Brain Drain

Written on January 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm , by

Pick a gym that's convenient and clean. (Photo by Jay Sullivan)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Links: Finding Exercise Love and Slimmer Dinner Dates

Written on October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm , by

Exercise doesn't have to be a drag! (Photo courtesy of iStockphoto)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Links: Delicious Meat-Free Eats and the Wellness Benefits of Being Nice

Written on September 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm , by

A grilled veggie and hummus sandwich: a vegan meal that satisfies! (Photo by Kate Sears)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Links: Gym No-Nos and Slim, Salty Snacks

Written on July 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm , by

(Photo by Jay Sullivan)

Posture check! (Photo by Jay Sullivan)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Score a Hot Core With These Exercises

Written on April 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm , by

A DJ spins tunes in the oversized disco ball. Can you believe this is a gym? (Photo courtesy of David Barton Gym)

A DJ spins tunes in the oversized disco ball. Can you believe this is a gym? (Photo courtesy of David Barton Gym)

The other day I checked out the newest Astor Place location of the David Barton Gym. Never before have I stepped into a more beautiful fitness center—the decor was drop dead gorgeous and appeared to be straight out of a movie set, not like that of a place where I’d think people go to get buff. Inspired by the nightclub scene, not only does the decor make you want to look your best for the next night out on the town, but the overall vibe of this gym just makes you want to work out hard. Here in New York City, before you hit the town for a night of dancing, you make sure to hit the gym. This is definitely the idea that David had in mind when he opened his franchise, including a disco ball DJ booth for local DJs to play their beats during Thursday night work out rush hour. Yes, the music is turned high and the adrenaline is pumping—and David’s trainers promise that you’ll get a hot body. I needed some work on my core so David set me up with one of his trainers, Meka Gibson, for a quick workout. (Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t a Thursday so I didn’t get to experience the DJ, but I will be back to see this!)

Why my core? I really felt like my core and lower back needed extra attention because my lower back occasionally hurts when I work out (aka it’s out of shape), and although I think my rectus abdominal muscles are in prime form (those are the ones you see when you’re staring at someone’s six- or eight-pack), the rest of my core, like the external obliques and transversus abdominus muscles, have not really been feeling the love lately. David taught me that your core is like the tree trunk of your body—it has to be strong to stabilize the rest of your muscles and help you have good posture. I sometimes feel that I’m slacking with this as I find myself slouching at my desk! Although I’m a huge fan of the plank and do this move nearly every day,  I needed a fresh plan to give me an extra boost. Here are the hard-as-nails moves that David and Meka taught me. Try these just twice a week and you’ll start to feel stronger, guaranteed!

Read on to learn the fabulous moves.

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